I have written several times about WikiTree, the online genealogy wiki. You can see the past articles that explain the service if you start at http://goo.gl/OvRYq. Now owner Chris Whitten has announced a major change to the site:
WikiTree.com has closed new user registration. New members must now be invited by current WikiTree members.
WikiTree is committed to being 100% free. Rather than limiting what members can do or charging them for access, we’ve decided to slow down the addition of new members.
This does not affect the accessibility of public profiles. Our mission is to create a single family tree that will make genealogy free and easy for everyone. However, the ability to create profiles and limit them with Privacy Levels and Trusted Lists is something that only members can do.
Current members can invite an unlimited number of family members and fellow genealogists. They can also continue to import and export GEDCOMs, add unlimited photos, and enjoy all the other free services for members.
Chris Whitten, the creator of WikiTree, explains the policy change like this: “We’re devoted to growing a single family tree that will make genealogy free and easy for everyone. Charging for access to the tree, let alone charging community members who are creating the tree, is anathema to our vision.
“The problem is that we’ve had users abusing our wide range of free services and treating the site like their personal back-up service. Not only does this drain our limited resources, it hurts other community members and what we’re trying to accomplish. By making membership strictly invitation-only, we can give our community some breathing room to clean up the genealogical messes that irresponsible users have left behind, and we can be more careful about making sure that future members embrace our vision and understand our Wiki Genealogist Honor Code.”
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